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The first part of November passed in a blur of being sick with a monster cold/flu hybrid. After a few months of only having some cheap beanbags to sit on, I finally got myself a nice couch at IKEA. So between bedrest and wanting to enjoy my new couch, I watched a lot of TV this month.

Luckily, I was feeling better by the time my family arrived for their Disney vacation during Thanksgiving week. We had a slumber party at my place on the first night they came down, and then we checked into Old Key West and spent the week at the parks, making sure to squeeze in our Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.

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So that was about the extent of my month: TV and family. And sometimes you just need a month like that.

What I’ve Been Reading

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matsen: I really didn’t have much time to sit down and read this month, which is why I stayed up most of the Saturday night after Thanksgiving to bury myself in these pages. This YA novel was just too dang cute!

What I’ve Been Listening To

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: This had been hyped for so long that my expectations were extremely high. However, by the time I finally got it, I’d heard so many people talk about it that I knew most of the big plot points, and it didn’t feel as innovative and original to me as I’m sure it did to the people who read it without any spoilers.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: I might be the only person to think this, but I felt that Homegoing lived up to its hype much more so than Underground Railroad. It was a cross-generational historical fiction starting with 2 sisters in Ghana, one sold into slavery and one married to a British slaver. The story follows their descendants, and it’s just incredible.

 The BFG by Roald Dahl: After the election, I needed an escape. Remembering how wonderful Dahl’s works are on audio, I picked out this one. I’d read this in middle school but had forgotten most of the story, and the audiobook was a delightful refresher–I’ll definitely be watching the movie at some point soon.

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters: Another take on the Underground Railroad, I found this book to be about on par with Whitehead’s book in terms of how much  I enjoyed it. I’d recommend many other books before I’d recommend these, and yet I’m glad to have read both of them.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie: I figured Thanksgiving break was an excellent time to read up on other perspectives on the American experience. Despite dealing with some heavy themes (or perhaps because of how they were handled), this was some darn good YA.

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher: Because I’m 12th in line for the library copy of her newest book, but I couldn’t wait for juicy details of Carrie Fisher’s life. This will hold me over until I get a chance to read about her affair with Harrison in The Princess Diarist.

What I’ve Been Watching

The Crown is a new Netflix show that made me rethink my lack of interest in the present-day British monarchy. I’ve always loved the period of King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, but The Crown ignited my interest in Elizabeth II. There is a lot about the beginning of her reign that I was ignorant to until now. Excited for another season!

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: This was magical from start to finish, and I’m so glad to have new things in the Harry Potter world to look forward to!

Since January, West Wing has been a huge part of my life. After months of intentionally slowing down so that I could savor it, I finally finished this series. The heartwarming ending was exactly what I needed after the insane turn our own political system took this month.

Other shows I’ve been keeping up with include: Last Man on Earth, Bob’s Burgers, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Agents of Shield, Designated Survivor, The Good Place, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Younger.

On the Blog

Love, Elizabeth